Little-Known Reasons To Eat Your Veggies
When you were a child, your parents probably insisted that you ate your vegetables. Maybe they wouldn’t let you get up from the kitchen table until you’d eaten clean the green portion of your dinner. Maybe you weren’t allowed dessert unless you had a certain number of Brussels sprouts. Perhaps we could all benefit from such militant nutrition-enforcers, sitting around and watching us eat our meals, even as adults. As adults, we often think, “The rules of nutrition and health don’t apply to me.” Maybe you barely eat vegetables, and yet, you have a healthy body mass index and you think you look great, so you don’t see a reason to worry. As far as your doctor is concerned, everything looks good (but if she knew the sad amount of veggies you ate, she’d say otherwise). So you’re scamming the system and skipping vegetables. If that sounds like you, then you need to hear these little-known reasons to eat your vegetables.
It’s okay to eat them frozen
For you lazy chefs out there, worried about the rumors that frozen vegetables aren’t as nutritious as fresh ones, there is good news: studies have confirmed that the amount of nutrients lost in freezing vegetables is practically non-existent. In fact, they may even be better than fresh ones.
It’s also okay to blend them up
So long as you’re still getting the fibers, it’s okay to turn your fruits and vegetables into juice. You’ll still get all the nutrients, and not have to bother with the cutting and the chewing.
Some veggies have more protein than beef
When you’re breaking the food down, nutrition per calorie, broccoli actually has more protein than beef. Fifty calories worth has just over four grams of protein, meaning 600 calories worth has nearly 50 grams of protein.
They are insanely low in calories
They aren’t void of calories, but they may as well be. You could eat several pounds of vegetables and still fail to consume even 400 calories.
They’re almost free of calories
Your body uses almost as much energy to process vegetables as it receives from those vegetables, nearly canceling out the calories provided by them.
The stinky ones can prevent cancer
Onions, garlic, scallions, chives, and leek contain sulfide-boasting compounds that have been shown to prevent some forms of cancer.
Your bowels really depend on them
Most people know that if you don’t eat many vegetables, you can become constipated. But do you really know why? Not only do they provide fiber that creates bulk in your bowels, but they also have compounds that bind to toxins, helping pull them out of your body and scrub your intestines.
Some fruits and vegetables—like apples—have the ideal nutritional combination that energy drinks aim to have, but typically sour with chemicals. An apple has a lot of minerals, complex carbs, and vitamins that will provide you about as much energy as a cup of coffee.
They can balance your emotions
Did you know that the flavors you experience each day directly affect your emotions? Ideally, you should experience all six flavors—pungent, astringent, bitter, salty, sweet, and sour—at each meal for balanced emotions. But without vegetables, it’s nearly impossible to get those first three flavors.
They’re essential for healthy cholesterol
To put it simply, oxidation in the body increases bad cholesterol, and the antioxidants in vegetables prevent oxidation. You simply cannot fight bad cholesterol if you don’t eat vegetables.
They stabilize blood sugar
Your body needs quite a bit of time to break down the cellulose fibers of veggies, which means this food group releases its carbohydrates slowly, keeping your blood sugar stable.
Root veggies and liver function
Root vegetables such as dandelion, beets, carrots, and radish are important for liver function. If you like to imbibe in alcohol from time to time, you really need these veggies in your diet.
They’re free probiotics
The chlorophyll in vegetables promotes the bountiful production of healthy bacteria in your gut, making them a much more affordable way to get probiotics than purchasing a supplement.
They’re nearly fat-free
Most vegetables are entirely fat-free and even those that have fat barely have a gram of fat per serving. Even then, that fat is healthy, unsaturated fat.
Struggling to carry that giant jug of water everywhere you go but aiming to get more water in your diet? You could just add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Cucumbers and lettuce, for example, contain 96 percent water.